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Pilates as a Career and an Investment in Yourself:...

Pilates as a Career and an Investment in Yourself: Part 1

Pilates can be tailored to a spectrum of fitness goals, ages and abilities — professional dancers, athletes, pregnant women, octogenarians looking to improve their balance.” New York Times, 7-22-2022

By the time a quote like this finds its way into the New York Times, it has been almost 100 years in the making. Joseph Pilates cultivated his movement methodology and message to the world that “Physical fitness is the requisite of happiness,” believing that he would see an embracing of the work in his lifetime. Instead, it has taken nearly 100 years for there to be a worldwide recognition that there was no potion, and no quick and easy way to replenish the stagnant effects of a modern lifestyle on the human body. What has become essential is adding back in the very thing a technologically advanced society sometimes subtracts – movement. Movement that is instinctive, reactive, wholly integrative, and challenging in all the many positions and ways we move through space.

We are just (slowly) coming out of a historic pandemic and now there is global political and economic instability. Not ideal. But one positive trend that has emerged from all of this is a heightened sense of self-care needed to help deal with these stressful times. And physical activity is seen as an integral ingredient to health and overall wellbeing. As a result, mind-body movement and exercise practices of all kinds have risen into the consciousness of the general population. This worldwide realization has catapulted Pilates to the forefront of the mind-body space.

Science is with Pilates. As the NYT article mentioned above – “Is Pilates as Good as Everybody?” – affirms: “Scientific research does support an array of impressive health benefits for Pilates. Studies suggest it may help to improve muscle endurance and flexibility, reduce chronic pain and lessen anxiety and depression.”

Muscle, pain and anxiety, body and mind. These are the essence of Pilates and it will serve us well to remember this as a step into the opportunity that is now in front of us.

Fitness is with Pilates. Fitness as a large umbrella has always included Pilates but the slice was a small one. Now, the space is much larger. In a conversation with an ACE online education platform, I learned that PILATES is a key search word, always in the top 5. Fitness instructors are looking to Pilates, and the serious fitness enthusiast sees the benefits of adding Pilates.

Clinics are with us. The rehabilitative value of the apparatus, inclusive of the Reformer, Cadillac, Chair and Barrels, is accepted as providing a rich environment for patients to access and restore baseline strength and mobility. Integrated movement is also seen as a partner to whole body health and restoration. Not only does this add an additional healing medium to the clinical environment, it also adds a wellness business opportunity and model, which includes ongoing pay-for -service.

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Joy Puleo is Balanced Body's Director of Education. In July of 2013, Joy moved, with her family, from New York to Sacramento, California to join Nora St. John and the rest of the Balanced Body team to work on developing curriculum and educational programming. Joy has been teaching Pilates teachers since 2002 and in the health and wellness industry since 1996. Joy earned her MA from Columbia University in Applied Physiology. As a lecturer she presents at conferences and studios across the country and abroad and with Balanced Body, she is a regular at most Pilates on Tours. In addition to her degree Joy is A.C.S.M. certified and is able to provide ACE credits for students who take her classes. She is a fully qualified Balanced Body Pilates Instructor and teacher trainer, CoreAlign and Bodhi Suspension System master trainer and a graduate of the PhysicalMind Institute. Joy was also trained on the GYROTONIC,® Level I and the Ladder. In 2011 Joy founded Body Wise Connection, a not-for-profit which works with women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Body Wise Connections sole purpose is to remind women that even in the throes of a diagnosis and treatment for cancer the body can heal and strengthen. Body Wise Connection works to restore physical self-awareness and empowerment through gently, rhythmic Pilates based movements. Though Joy is no longer in New York, Joys work has expanded to include all cancer patients regardless of the primary cancer diagnosis. Joy believes that movement changes lives and that education is the key to unlocking potential. Joy is thrilled to be working with Balanced Body on the shared mission of elevating mindful movement as a component to long term health and wellbeing.

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